After 21 seasons in the majors, Adrian Beltre is finally riding off into the sunset after announcing his retirement.
The 39-year-old Beltre spent time with the Dodgers, Mariners, and Red Sox before spending his final eight seasons with the Rangers. He’s a career .286 hitter who’s played in nearly 3,000 games and had more than 11,000 at-bats.
Beltre was a workhorse, playing year after year with no stopping. He scored a little over 100 runs in the 20th century, yet here he was in 2018 still playing. When he left the Dodgers in 2004, he was already a great player. In fact, when he left the Dodgers, he was 25 years old and was already having a career that was nearly as good as Manny Machado‘s.
One of his greatest feats was his ability to rack up extra base hits consistently year after year, especially doubles. After his rookie season in 1998, he went 20 consecutive years with 20 or more doubles. His first and last time hitting 30 doubles was 15 years apart.
He was just as good and consistent with hitting home runs as he hit more than 225 after he turned 30. All in all, he finished with 477 home runs and 636 doubles. His 636 doubles are currently good for 11th most in MLB history.
However, once it’s time to judge his Hall of Fame credentials, it’s his ability to get on base that will be looked at more than his power. In 2017, he recorded his 3000th hit and finishes his career with the 16th most.
In addition to his offensive talent, he was just as good on the field. According to Baseball Reference, he has a 29.3 defensive WAR, which only nine players have him beat. He also won five Gold Gloves, most recently in 2016.
The only thing that could have gone differently for Beltre was playoff success. In 2017, Carlos Beltran ended his long and rocky playoff journey with a world series win, but Beltre had no such luck. He made it to the world series in 2011 but lost and every other time he made it to the postseason, his team failed to make it past the LDS.
Of all the stadiums he’s played in, Beltre had at least 100 plate appearances in 26 of them, including Shea Stadium. In total, he’s played in 57 games against the Mets.
Throughout his career, there have been numerous baseball fans all over the country who loved watching Beltre play. He’s going to be missed and well remembered by all of them.